NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Controversial call sends it to overtime Knights lost in double overtime

On Thursday, Nov.23, 6 at p.m. Great Bay Community College visited NECC Knights for a non conference  game at the Sports and Fitness Center at the Haverhill campus. The Knights were 4-3 coming into today’s game with  a two game winning streak.

It was the first and probably the last giveaway of the season. Twenty-five fans in attendance received mullet wigs in honor of Matt D’Amato’s recent brush with viral fame. The video got viral on Instagram SportsCenter, with one commenter calling D’Amato the “The Mullet Mamba.”

They were 197 people in attendance that’s the most fans in attendance at home so far in the 2021-22 season.

Before the game in the tunnel I talked to the coach before the game and I talked to him about the video that went viral on Instagram “I thought it was very interesting that I don’t have social media so it was very intriguing to me. I am still trying to grasp all of this about the viral video about Matt and his haircut. It is funny that you mentioned that Matt asked me at the beginning of the year before our first game, he asked if I wanted him to cut his hair and I said absolutely not. As long as he keeps on the ball on the basket I don’t care what he wore for a haircut,” Stratton said.

Matt D’Amato and Jaleek Urena was in a minute restriction as they don’t want to push them to much as they re progressing coming off from a injury little by little. Jaleek  missed six games while Matt missed four games heading into the game against Great Bay.

Mehmet Asik was ready for the road trip as he was battling an illness. He played against Eastern Nazarene JV and University of Connecticut at Avery Point on the road trip. “Mehmet is just working his way back and still doesn’t have his conditioning as you’ll see tonight, we been trying to put him on  a minute restriction, increasing his minutes game by game. I was forced last game against UConn Avery Point to play him a little bit longer just because we had six game out… so he was forced to play a little bit longer…” Stratton said.

Photo by Jose Rodriguez, Sports Editor

Knights in a classic game against Great Bay Community College

During the game in the first period Knights started off strong. They were rhythm, everything was going in their  favor as they started the game with 14-4 run. They were in the row throw line early on and they were making their shot.

Halfway in the first period Knights that’s when the Knights were not starting to play as aggressive as they were in the beginning.

“I feel we got less discipline on defense we weren’t executed as well on offense like we wanted to. We were rushing stuff but few adjustment I feel we going to work on it in practice tomorrow…” said Jasjit Banwait of Malton, Ontario.

Knights were leading 35-30 at the half despite almost blowing 14-4 lead to begin the game.

The momentum at the end of the first period carried on to the second period. They weren’t aggressive “Is laziness playing simple was laziness we came out fouling reaching doing the things we not supposed to do and put our self in bad predicaments and it showed tonight,” Stratton said.

That’s one of the reason that cost the Knights the game  and the referee’s controversial call that blew the Knights there 3 straight win of the season. At the buzzer the referee called a foul on Mehmet Asik of Ankira, Turkey with the Knights up 66-64.

Photo by Jose Rodriguez, Sports Editor

Coach Stratton motivating his player’s during the final three minutes of the second period.

Ethan May of Great Bay Community College needed to make at least two of the three free throw to guaranteed an overtime and if they made all three in the Knights lost.  He made the first two in then Coach Stratton called a time out with the game tied at 66 with one shot remaining. For May this would determine if the game went to overtime, or the Knights were going to lose and the game went to overtime as May missed the last free throw.

The game went to overtime tied at 66. It was a classic game at the Sports and Fitness Center but only one can become victories.

In overtime it is five minutes opposed to the regular 20 minutes for each period on the first and in the second period. Both teams scored 5 points  which tied at 71 heading to the second overtime.

That’s when Great Bay exploded in the second overtime. They outscored the Knights 12-1 and it was enough to defeat the Knights 83 to 72.

Coach Stratton post game commented on the controversial call to send the game to overtime at the end of the second period. “I think it was a controversial call but I am not going to blame an official because it was a judgement call. They get paid to do you know basically to rule judgement. I haven’t look at the film I’m not going to blame the official because that was one position… so in a game there so many possessions,  that game shouldn’t come down to that call.  Basically we should’ve won in many possessions during the game that it didn’t get us to that point..”

We also learned that Philip Cunningham of Haverhill didn’t play tonight. He is out with an injury but he was on bench without his uniform on and Christian Kinsely of Lawrence he is sick.